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Executive decision: Global warming is serious

Sarah Gardner Jan 19, 2007

TESS VIGELAND: A national coalition of environmental groups turned up the heat on President Bush today. The Natural Resources Defense Council, Audubon Society, and others laid out their 2007 energy platform. The move comes just days ahead of the State of the Union address.

But as Sarah Gardner reports from the Marketplace Sustainability Desk, the interest groups may be upstaged by a bunch of suits.

SARAH GARDNER: It’s one thing to have green groups nag the President about his global warming policy. Quite another when it’s the CEOs of 10 major corporations including General Electric, Caterpillar and DuPont. They call themselves the U.S. Climate Action Partnership. And on Monday they’ll urge Congress and the President to get serious about climate change.

FRANCIS BEINECKE: We think that the coalition of companies endorsing carbon caps is a major breakthrough.

Francis Beinecke is president of the Natural Resources Defense Council. The council and several other non-profits partnered with the corporations. These strange bedfellows will call not only for set limits on CO2 emissions, but specific targets as well.

Many of the companies see carbon regulation as inevitable. And they want to shape future policy to their advantage.

Today a White House spokesman would say only that the President would “take a look” at what this corporate alliance has in mind. Meanwhile, a separate coalition of environmental non-profits released its own challenge to Bush today.

ANNA AURILIO: Reducing oil by 20 percent, getting 25 percent of our energy from clean, renewable, homegrown sources.

Anna Aurilio at U.S. Public Interest Research Group says they also want the president to increase fuel efficiency standards to 40 miles per gallon.

AURILIO: We don’t think that he needs to continue to ask for more authority to raise CAFE standards. He needs to just go ahead and do it.

Recently, a Bush advisor said that the president will lay out an energy policy during his State of the Union address that will “knock your socks off.”

I’m Sarah Gardner for Marketplace.

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